Imagine that you spend your whole life building a house. The house is a life project for you. You build it from the foundation up – every nail, every screw. You go for quality in everything you choose: fixtures, fittings, lights, curtains. Everything that is in that house is a reflection of you and your commitment to excellence. This house is your pride and joy. It reflects your craftsmanship, your style and your values. It is the fruit of your labour over many years, as you have continued to make improvements, incorporating new ideas.
One day you meet a master builder. You have read about his work in magazines, so you invite him to come over and look at your house. You want to know if there is anything that he would do different, change some fittings, move the deck, perhaps even open up a wall. What could he suggest that would make your house even better? He comes in and he’s very quiet. He looks round, shakes his head and says, “This is a tear-down.” That’s devastating; a tear-down? You have put your whole life into this house and he rights it off completely?
Well, that’s exactly what’s happening for Nicodemus in John chapter 3. He is a highly successful man and spiritual leader who is trusted and respected in the community. Jesus effectively says to him, “You have come to me, thinking that I can add something that is missing in your successful life. I am telling you that your whole life needs to be made again, begun again, lived again. You must be born again.”
Jesus didn’t come to help us fix up the life we have built. Jesus came to give us a completely new life.